From 'X-Men' to 'Spider-Man': 35 of Stan Lee's Most Memorable Cameos

7:00 AM 7/19/2017

by Victoria Berggren

The Marvel legend often steals the show in his brief appearances.

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Stan Lee is known not only for his celebrated superheroes but also for his creative cameos in various Marvel films and TV shows. From a mailman to a security guard, Lee has played a small role in nearly every one of the Marvel films between 1989 and 2017.

For years, fans have debated whether Lee's 15 seconds of fame are just for fun or if they hold a greater significance to the Marvel franchise. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 supports a fan theory that Lee's background roles actually have a bigger meaning in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the movie, Lee can be seen talking with cosmic beings called Watchers, on a barren planet about his time as a delivery man on Earth. It turns out, Stan Lee has been playing the same character in all of his movies, and may even be a Watcher.

"Stan Lee clearly exists above and apart from the reality of all the films, so the notion that he could be sitting there, on a cosmic pit stop, during the jump gate sequence in Guardians, was something very fun," Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said in an interview, noting that at one point the scene was cut from Guardians, before being added back in. "We thought it would be fun to keep that in there because that really says, 'So wait a minute, is this the same character who’s popped up in all these films? Is this the same person?'"

Ahead of this year's San Diego Comic-Con, where Lee will be honored with a look back at his career (Friday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 6DE), The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at 35 of his cameos over the years.

  • The Trial of The Incredible Hulk (1989)

    Lee appears as a horrified jury member in The Hulk's Trial. 

  • Mallrats (1995)

    Gramercy Pictures/Photofest

    While not a Marvel film, Lee had a small role in Kevin Smith's cult favorite as a man who gives Brodie relationship advice about Rene using comic book references.

    Brody (Jason Lee) life-altering relationship advice about Rene (Shannen Doherty) through the use of none other than, you guessed it, comic book references.
    Brody (Jason Lee) life-altering relationship advice about Rene (Shannen Doherty) through the use of none other than, you guessed it, comic book references.
  • X-Men (2000)

    Lee can be seen as a beachfront hot dog vendor in the first X-Men movie.

  • Spider-Man (2002)

    In the first Spider-Man movie, Stan Lee can be seen in a scene where he and a little girl run to escape debris caused by Green Goblin's explosions. 

  • Daredevil (2003)

    A preoccupied Lee is stopped from walking into oncoming traffic by young, blind superhero Daredevil.

  • Hulk (2003)

    Lee appears in Hulk (alongside TV's Hulk, Lou Ferrigno) as a disgruntled guard who is insistent on increasing security following a series of attacks.

  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)

    Once again, Stan heroically saves a fellow innocent bystander from debris as Doctor Octopus wreaks havoc on the city.

     

  • Fantastic Four (2005)

    20th Cenxtury Fox/Photofest

    Lee appears in the first of the Fantastic Four films as a chipper mailman who delivers a letter to Dr. Richards.

  • X-Men The Last Stand (2006)

    In this movie, Stan Lee can be spotted watering his lawn when the water suddenly defies gravity as young mutant Jean Grey demonstrates her telekinesis powers.

     

  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)

    Instead of dodging debris like he did in the last two Spiderman movies, Lee instead delivers a profound piece of advice to Peter Parker in the middle of Times Square telling him, "I guess one person can make a difference." 

  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Sliver Surfer (2007)

    At Reed Richards and Susan Storm's wedding, Lee can be seen fighting the bouncer to get into the event telling him that there was no way he, Stan Lee, was not on the guest list.

     

  • Iron Man (2008)

    In the first of the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark says hello to Hugh Hefner, played by Lee, at a glamorous red carpet event. 

  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)

    Lee appears as a man from Milwaukee who takes a sip of soda contaminated by a drop of the Hulk's blood. 

  • The Big Bang Theory (Season 3, 2009-10)

    CBS/Photofest

    Lee stars as himself in an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon, star struck by Lee, is devastated when he cannot get his autograph. 

  • Iron Man 2 (2010)

    Tony Stark greets Larry King, played by Lee, at a press event. 

  • Thor (2011)

    Stan can be found behind the wheel of a white pickup truck as it unsuccessfully attempts to uproot Thor's hammer after it crashed onto earth.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

    At a ceremony meant to honor Captain America for his bravery, a disappointed Lee can be heard making a comment on how he thought Captain America would be taller. 

  • The Avengers (2012)

    Lee appears as in an interview on the news as an irritated citizen frustrated by superhero antics. 

  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

    An oblivious Lee can be seen minding his own business working at the library, playing his music so loud in his headphones that the classical concerto completely drowns out the violent battle ensuing just inches away. 

  • Iron Man 3 (2013)

    Stan makes a quick appearance in Iron Man 3 as an elated judge at a beauty pageant. 

  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)

    Inside an institution designed for elderly patients, Stan Lee unwillingly participates in Professor Erik Selvig's lecture about space. After the speech, Lee asks Selvig if he can just have his shoe back. 

  • The Simpsons (Season 25, 2013-14)

    FOX NETWORK/Photofest

    Stan Lee stars as himself in an episode of The Simpsons where he gives Bart advice on making comics. 

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

    Lee the Smithsonian security guard fears being fired after he discovers that a Captain America suit has been stolen from the museum. 

  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

    Rocket spots Lee in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie talking to a pretty young woman, where the feisty raccoon does what he is most famous for: calling him names and making jokes.

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

    Columbia Pictures/Photofest

    Stan seems to be the only person who notices Peter Parker's quick change out of his Spidey suit and into his cap and gown.

  • Big Hero 6 (2014)

    Lee appears after the credits as Fred's dad. 

  • Agent Carter (2015)

    ABC/Photofest

    Lee (hiding behind the newspaper) innocently asks if he can borrow the Sports section. 

  • Avengers Age of Ultron (2015)

    Lee takes a swig of Thor's alcohol, which has been aged for 1,000 years. The cameo ends with Lee leaving the bar in a drunken stupor. 

  • Ant-Man (2015)

    Stan serves as a bartender in the first Ant-Man movie. 

  • Deadpool (2016)

    In Deadpool, Lee can be heard announcing acts at a strip club that Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) frequents when he's not fighting crime.

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)

    Lee makes a quick trip to Tony Stark's home as a FedEx delivery man. Comically unaware of whom he was delivering a package to, Lee misreads Stark's name on the shipping label as "Tony Stank."  

  • X Men: Apocalypse (2016)

    Lee's voice can be heard in a viral add about a school for "gifted youngsters," and he also plays a shocked bystander who witnesses hundreds of rockets being launched into space. His late wife, Joan, appears alongside him.

  • Dr. Strange (2016)

    Stan Lee can be found reading a book on a bus, once again oblivious to the chaos ensuing outside as the earth literally folds in half. 

  • Fresh Off the Boat (Season 3, 2016-17)

    ABC/Photofest

    Lee plays himself in an episode in which Eddie and Emery enter a comic book contest.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

    Lee appears as an astronaut stuck on a planet inhabited by strange creatures called "Watchers." In the cameo, he is telling them a story about how he used to be a postman on Earth. 

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